News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contacts:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, slyle@cdfa.ca.gov
Nancy Lungren, Deputy for Public Affairs, (916) 651-0391, nlungren@cdfa.ca.gov
LISTERIA BACTERIA DETECTED IN SPRING HILL JACK CHEESE
CDFA
Release #06-031
CDFA Issues Order to Withdraw and Hold Product; No Illnesses Reported
PETALUMA, June 16, 2006 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture has issued an order to hold all cheese labeled as Spring Hill Cheese Co., “Jersey Jack” at the company's plant in Petaluma, and to withdraw all 8-lb. wheels and 8-ounce wedges of “Jersey Jack,” a brand of Monterey Jack cheese, from retail distribution due to detection of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.  The bacteria were detected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators as a result of routine surveillance and laboratory sampling at the Spring Hill Cheese manufacturing plant.  The withdrawal order involves removal of approximately 500 pounds of “Jersey Jack” cheese from grocery and retail outlets in Northern and Central California.  The company’s other products are not affected by the order.  No illnesses have been reported to date.

Listeria monocytogenes may cause listeriosis among “at risk” people, including pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.  Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea.  If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache and stiff neck can occur.  Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to more serious problems for the fetus.  If a related illness is suspected, consumers are encouraged to consult a physician immediately.

Consumers should discard the cheese or return it to the store for a refund.  California consumers who have purchased Spring Hill Jersey Jack cheese may call the company at 707-762-3446 with questions about the product withdrawal.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov